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Sweden to impose 500 capacity limit on gatherings

Swedish authorities have approved a raft of stricter measures impacting touring in an effort to combat the Omicron spike

By James Hanley on 12 Jan 2022

Swedish PM Magdalena Andersson

image © Frankie Fouganthin

A 500 capacity limit on live events is set to be introduced in Sweden following a request from the country’s public health agency.

Swedish authorities have today (12 January) imposed a raft of stricter measures to combat the Omicron spike, including the requirement of a vaccination certificate for events with more than 50 people.

For events of more than 20 people, participants must be seated and divided into groups of a maximum of eight people, with 1m social distancing observed. The restrictions are expected to last for four weeks.

“The government is also preparing for further restrictions which require an amendment to the ordinance and therefore take a little longer, such as an upper participation ceiling of 500 people,” explains a summary by trade association Svensk Live.

The additional measures have thrown the Melodifesivalen 2022 tour into doubt

The additional measures have thrown Sweden’s annual Melodifestivalen 2022 tour into doubt. The live shows, which determine the country’s entry for May’s Eurovision Song Contest, were held without an audience in 2021, but toured across Sweden prior to the pandemic.

Currently, the semi-finals are due to commence at Malmo Arena on 5 February, with the final scheduled for Friends Arena in Stockholm on 12 March.

A tweet from Melodifestivalen’s official Twitter account reads: “In consideration of the new restrictions in Sweden, we are looking into our options regarding audience together with our collaborators.”

Last month, prime minister Magdalena Andersson announced that financial help for the sector would be extended to 31 March 2022, with a pledge to introduce further crisis support in the future if necessary.

Event support amounts to 70% of costs that are “directly necessary” for the event, up to a maximum of SEK17.5 million (€1.7m). The support applies to events that would have taken place between 1 June, 2021 and 31 March, 2022.


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